Keep Your Photos Safe and Share Them with Others
With digiKam, you can edit and manage photos, but how do you keep your processed and neatly organized shots safe and share them with others? Enter B3, a tiny yet powerful and flexible Linux-based server from the Swedish-based company Excito. This diminutive device provides a perfect solution for backing up your photos and sharing them with friends, family, or the entire Web. This device makes a perfect companion to digiKam.
B3 server in all its beauty
Setting up and maintaining your own server may sound like a daunting proposition. But thanks to its intuitive Web-based interface, you can deploy and configure B3 in just a few minutes. The server is designed with regular users in mind, so you don't have to be a Linux guru to get the server up and running.
B3 can serve files on the local network right out of the box, and you can access the photos stored on the server from any machine running Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows. You can get B3 with a 2TB hard disk, which provides ample storage for your photos. If even 2TB is not enough for your needs, you can add external storage via the eSATA or USB ports on the back of the server. B3 also comes with built-in, easy-to-use backup software which allows you to keep your precious photos safe. You can back up the photos to an external hard disk or a remote machine.
B3 Photo Album
When it comes to sharing your photos, B3 offers its own photo album software. Using it, you can generate slick photo albums from photos stored on the server with a few mouse clicks. And you have full control over who can view the shared photos: you can publish your photos to the world, or you can limit access to specific users.
B3 does such a good job of hiding all the complexity of the underlying software that it's easy to forget that it's powered by Debian, one of the most mature and stable Linux distributions out there. In fact, power users can gain unrestricted access to the system via SSH and extend the server's functionality by installing packages from the Debian software repositories. This means, for example, that you can install and use the excellent rsync tool to back up your photos.
But that's not all. B3 also boasts a pre-configured and ready-to-go Apache, MySQL, and PHP stack, so you can install and run Web-based applications on your little server. Want something more powerful than B3's own photo sharing software? No problem, you can easily install and run Web-based photo sharing applications like Gallery or Piwigo (here is an example of Piwigo running on B3 http://dmpop.homelinux.com/piwigo/).
By the way, keeping your photos safe and sharing them with others are only two of B3's many talents. Streaming music and video, managing BitTorrent downloads, fetching your email, and protecting your network -- the little server can handle virtually any task you throw at it.